A manned spacecraft Soyuz TMA-1 was launched to the International Space Station from the Baykonur space center at 6:11 a.m. Moscow time today.
The spacecraft will be placed in a near-earth orbit by means of a Soyuz-FG rocket. It is to dock with the space station on November 1.
The Russian-Belgian crew consists of Russian cosmonaut Sergey Zalyetin, who is the spacecraft commander, a Russian flight engineer and a Belgian flight engineer, representing the European Space Agency. The aim of the 10-day flight is a short-term visit to the space station to replace the 'rescue spacecraft' Soyuz TM-34, whose capacity has been exhausted.